Thursday, July 7, 2016

Dog Lake, Millcreek Canyon

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Hiking to Dog Lake, Hiking in Utah with Dogs, Millcreek Canyon
Dog Lake in Millcreek Canyon is a popular trail for dog owners during the summer months, when the upper Millcreek Road is open, and the heat in the SLC valley is unbearable. Though you can access Dog Lake year round via the Mill D North Fork Trail in Big Cottonwood Canyon, dogs are not allowed to take that trail due to watershed rules. When the winter gate is open in Millcreek July 1st through October 31st, you can bet this trailhead and parking lot will be packed, especially in the evening hours when it is cooler, and the dogs are begging to swim. This 3 mile (one way) hike meanders up long switchbacks, through forested areas, passes a lot of wildflowers, streams, crosses bridges, and finally ends at Dog Lake. Dogs are only allowed off leash on ODD days in Millcreek, and though they are allowed in the canyon every day, they must remain leashed on all trails on EVEN days.
From SLC, head East on I-80, then take I-215 south. Take exit 4 for 3900 S, and turn left. At the first light (Wasatch Blvd), turn left. At the next light, turn right, which leads you into Millcreek Canyon. The Big Water TH is located at the very end of this road, 9 miles up the canyon. The trail starts in the SE corner of the parking lot.

Distance: 5.5 mile (loop)
Elevation gain: 1,300 ft
Time: 3-4 hours
Dog friendly? Yes, off leash on ODD days. Must be leashed on EVEN days.
Kid friendly? Yes
Fees/Permits? There is a $3 fee upon exit, or FREE if you buy the Annual Millcreek Pass ($40). Millcreek Canyon does NOT accept the National Park Pass, American Fork Pass, nor the Mirror Lake Highway pass. No permit is required to hike this trail.
Hiking to Dog Lake, Hiking in Utah with Dogs, Millcreek Canyon
The trail starts in the SE corner of the parking lot, and immediately crosses a bridge.
Hiking to Dog Lake, Hiking in Utah with Dogs, Millcreek Canyon
The trail turns West for a few minutes, before turning south.
Hiking to Dog Lake, Hiking in Utah with Dogs, Millcreek Canyon
There were a ton of Sticky Geranium on the Big Water/Dog Lake Trail.
Hiking to Dog Lake, Hiking in Utah with Dogs, Millcreek Canyon
At the first trail split, continue straight. You will now see Dog Lake on all the trail signs. The official trail name is Upper Big Water.
Hiking to Dog Lake, Hiking in Utah with Dogs, Millcreek Canyon
Crossing  bridge #2. Each bridge is a great place to let the dogs get a quick drink on the trail.
Hiking to Dog Lake, Hiking in Utah with Dogs, Millcreek Canyon
Working our way up the shaded trail, and the switchbacks. The nice things is that this trail is never super steep.
Hiking to Dog Lake, Hiking in Utah with Dogs, Millcreek Canyon
Bridge #3.
Hiking to Dog Lake, Hiking in Utah with Dogs, Millcreek Canyon
At the next trail split, continue right, for Dog Lake.
Hiking to Dog Lake, Hiking in Utah with Dogs, Millcreek Canyon
The trail alternates from very narrow to very wide at times.
Hiking to Dog Lake, Hiking in Utah with Dogs, Millcreek Canyon
Several Colorado Columbine's dot the trail.
Hiking to Dog Lake, Hiking in Utah with Dogs, Millcreek Canyon
Finally, we arrived at Dog Lake. The dogs ran quickly ahead to jump in the lake and to play with balls and sticks!
Hiking to Dog Lake, Hiking in Utah with Dogs, Millcreek Canyon
Group photo with my group, Hiking in Utah - With our Dogs! We hike every Tuesday night at 6:15pm, and we hike a different trail each week. Our hikes are posted on Meetup, and we also have a facebook group to share photos and ideas. The dogs love hiking with their buddies each week, and all know each other really well. It's also a great way to make new friends!
Hiking to Dog Lake, Hiking in Utah with Dogs, Millcreek Canyon
Tallie, my cover girl, waits for her toy to be thrown into the lake.
Hiking to Dog Lake, Hiking in Utah with Dogs, Millcreek Canyon
All the dogs wanted the same ball!
Hiking to Dog Lake, Hiking in Utah with Dogs, Millcreek Canyon
To make this hike a loop, head back the same way you came, but at the very first trail split, turn right. At the 2nd trail split, turn right again. This will create a 5.5 mile loop, taking you back to the parking lot. You can go back down the same way you hiked up, but I just prefer loop hikes.
Hiking to Dog Lake, Hiking in Utah with Dogs, Millcreek Canyon
At the 3rd trail split, continue straight.
Hiking to Dog Lake, Hiking in Utah with Dogs, Millcreek Canyon
You will cross a few more bridges.
Hiking to Dog Lake, Hiking in Utah with Dogs, Millcreek Canyon
And you will cut through some open meadows.
Hiking to Dog Lake, Hiking in Utah with Dogs, Millcreek Canyon
Returning to the NE corner of the parking lot.
Dog Lake Trail Map
Trail map of Dog Lake, taking the loop.



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Hiking to Dog Lake, Hiking in Utah with Dogs, Millcreek Canyon
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1 comment:

  1. Hi, Alicia! I just wanted to get back to you about Crazy Horse. There has been a lot done over the last ten years but it is so hard to tell without looking at photos up close. The huge shelf steps in the front have just been completed so they could remove enough stone to begin to work on the arm and horse head. I guess the reason it is taking so long is because of the huge amounts of stone that had to be removed to "slim" down the mountain for the details of the sculpture. They only have 11 fulltime employees and just hired three for the summer. Over the next 18 years they plan to have the flowing hair done on one side, the arm with the finger pointing, and the one side of the horse face. Sounds exciting:) The story is so amazing. It is our favorite part:)

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